NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In a game that saw both teams have chances to have a big inning, neither did and the final result was a 2-1 Atlantic Sun Conference loss to Belmont for the Lipscomb baseball team on Friday night at E.S. Rose Park in Nashville.
“This was just a well-played game,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “We didn’t score when we had a chance to score. Against a pitcher like that, when you have opportunities to score, you have to score because you don’t get very many.
“He pitched a great game. He didn’t have a lot of strikeouts but he had a lot of easy outs.”
The contest saw the Bruins (33-21, 15-10 A-Sun) threaten in the second against Lipscomb (25-28, 14-11) A-Sun) starter Connor Sinclair (6-4) but the senior was able to escape the jam by stranding a pair of runners. Belmont got a rally going again third with a leadoff walk and a bunt single.
Sinclair got a double play to avoid a big rally but the lead runner moved up to third on the play and then came across the dish on the next at bat on a single through the right side making it 1-0.
The Bruins got things going again in the fifth as Belmont used a walk and back-to-back singles to load the bases with one out. Matt Beaty stepped up to the plate and hit a deep fly to right field for his second RBI of the night with a sacrifice fly that proved to be the difference in the contest.
Lipscomb junior center fielder Zach Lowery opened the seventh with a single up the middle and junior shortstop Aaron Sandoval delivered a one-out single to put Belmont southpaw starter Chase Brookshire (7-3) for the first time since the fourth when Lowery doubled.
Freshman designated hitter Tyson Ashcraft then reached on an error hitting a ball between the mound and the third base bag that Brookshire gathered and then made a long throw over first base allowing Lowery to score and Sandoval and Ashcraft to both advance into scoring position.
That would be as close as Lipscomb would come though, as Brookshire got ground out back to himself and a weak pop up to short to end the threat. Brookshire would get the win for the Bruins going eight strong innings and allowing one unearned run and four hits before Scott Moses came on to work the ninth and notch his second save of the season.
Sinclair took the loss on the mound for the Bisons allowing the two earned runs and seven hits in five innings of working. Senior lefty Gil Rehwinkel came on in relief and worked the final three innings allowing only a pair of hits to keep the game close.
“Connor didn’t pitch his best today but he pitched us out of some big jams and put us in position to win,” said Forehand. “Then Gil goes out and puts three zeroes up. We just didn’t score when we had a chance to score and I have to tip my cap to them.”
With the loss, the Bisons still need a win against the Bruins or a loss by Mercer or Florida Gulf Coast this weekend to clinch a berth in next week’s A-Sun Championship in DeLand, Fla.
“Tomorrow we’ve got to try and figure it out and come back with a little more urgency and see if we can even it up,” added Forehand.
The two teams battle again on Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. at E.S. Rose Park in game two of the series.